BERWYN, Pa. & BERLIN-BUCH, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Formula Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) announced today the establishment of an exclusive licensing agreement and strategic collaboration for the development of Cytokine Induced Killer (C.I.K.) cell-based Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) immunotherapies, using MDC’s proprietary SB100X transposase, a component of the non-viral, Sleeping Beauty transposon-based gene transfer system.
The strategic collaboration includes a worldwide exclusive license agreement negotiated by MDC’s technology transfer partner Ascenion, along with collaborative research to be sponsored by Formula. The SB100X system will be incorporated into Formula’s proprietary C.I.K. CAR™ technology platform for the development of therapies targeting significant unmet needs in cancer and autoimmune disease. SB100X is a hyperactive component of the Sleeping Beauty (SB) system that researchers Dr. Zsuzsanna Izsvák and Dr. Zoltán Ivics established while at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, USA and which they improved at the MDC.
“We believe MDC’s SB100X gene transfer system has the optimal characteristics for use in human cell based therapeutics, in terms of its excellent transfection efficiency, stability and safety profile,” said Maurits W. Geerlings, President and CEO of Formula. “The SB100X system can be maintained and propagated as plasmid DNA, which makes it simple and inexpensive to manufacture. Further potential advantages of the SB100X system include reduced immunogenicity, and no strict limitation on the size of the expression cassettes used. The randomness of genomic insertion, and therefore the relative projected safety of the SB100X system in the context of human applications, is believed to be unique and unparalleled by any other gene transfer tool,” says Dr. Ivics, who now works at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in Langen near Frankfurt.
Dr. Geerlings added, “We are thrilled to work with MDC’s world-class scientific team and to incorporate their SB100X system into our C.I.K. CAR™ immunotherapy platform.”
“SB100X is a significantly optimized, non-viral, gene transfer system that has demonstrated utility in various human cell based applications,” said Professor Thomas Sommer, Scientific Director (interim) at MDC. “A key mission of MDC is to translate the knowledge gained from basic research performed in our institute into clinical application. We are pleased to work with Formula Pharmaceuticals to maximize the potential of SB100X and related technologies for the benefit of patients.”
About Formula Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Formula Pharmaceuticals is a privately held, immuno-oncology focused company located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania focused on the development of CAR immunotherapy for oncology and autoimmune diseases. Formula’s technology platform offers important opportunities for improvements to existing CAR approaches, with the objective to significantly increase patient access, clinical benefit potential, and cost-effectiveness of manufacturing. Formula plans to develop proprietary and licensed targets in hematologic oncology and solid tumor indications on its own and in partnership with others.
For more information visit www.formulapharma.com.
About the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine.
The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) is a corporation under German public law, and one of 18 research institutions of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. It is funded to 90 percent by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and to 10 percent by the state in which it is headquartered, in this case Berlin. The MDC was founded in January 1992 to build the bridge between basic molecular research and clinical research. Under the umbrella of molecular medicine, MDC scientists focus on the research areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer as well as on diseases of the nervous system and on systems biology. In 2013 MDC and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin founded the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) to bundle basic and clinical research, and in 2007 they founded the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) on the Berlin-Buch Campus. The MDC also participates in three of the six German Centers for Health Research.
For more information visit https://www.mdc-berlin.de.
Ascenion GmbH is an IP asset management company with particular expertise in the life sciences. Ascenion advises and supports public research institutions with regard to the protection and exploitation of their intellectual property (patents, know-how, materials), and initiates and mediates agreements between research institutions and industry. The company places particular emphasis on coaching company founders and on active equity management. Ascenion was founded in 2001 as a 100% subsidiary of the LifeScience Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Research and is exclusive technology transfer partner of 23 research institutes in the Helmholtz and Leibniz Associations, as well as of the Charité, the Hannover Medical School and the research institute TWINCORE. Ascenion currently markets around 750 technologies on behalf of these institutes, and closes an average of about 80 revenue-generating agreements between research and industry per year. The team has also coached numerous spin-offs through their foundation and early growth and Ascenion holds equity in 26 of these companies. Ascenion’s headquarters are in Munich, with further offices in Berlin, Braunschweig, Hamburg, Hanover and Neuherberg.
For more information visit www.ascenion.de
C.I.K. CAR is a trademark of Formula Pharmaceuticals, Inc.